1. abazigal's Avatar
    Let me start by first linking to an article which I feel is very enlightening.

    Fraser Speirs - Blog - Beyond Consumption vs*Creation

    This discussion is for people to share how they are being productive on their tablets (not necessarily just iPads, but since this is an Apple-centric forum...)

    It irritates me how people keep insisting that iPads are really good only for content consumption, and that one will never be able to do any sort of meaningful work on it. It irritates me because I know this is not true - I am using my iPad for meaningful work every day. I know this is not true because the internet is chock full of examples of people using their iPads for all sorts of purposes.

    And when an idea irritates me, I like to kill it. It may make me sound mean, but I feel that this particular notion deserves to die. As such, I am inviting anyone and everywhere to share how they are using their tablets to help them perform any task more readily or easily. Notice that I am not bothering to define what being productive entails. This is because to me, a tablet is a computing tool, just like a laptop or supercomputer. How it gets used depends on the end user, and I believe that a particular person keeps insisting that an iPad cannot be used for productivity, it says more about that person than the worthiness of iPads in general. If you are able to justify how playing Angry Birds makes you more productive, then it's good enough for me.

    In the process, I hope that we can all also learn a thing or two from one another on how to unlock the full potential of our iPads.

    Let me start the ball rolling. I am an elementary school teacher using my iPad in my classroom. I initially started with an Apple Tv hooked up to my classroom projector, which I used to project my iPad wirelessly via airplay mirroring. It worked well, but I was irritated by the letterboxing caused by my HDMI-to-VGA adaptor and the projector's max resolution of 800x600. The solution came in the form of a macbook air running the air server app.

    This setup allows me to circulate around the classroom, all the better to monitor my pupils more closely, while being able to still control the whiteboard from anywhere in the room. The plethora of cheap / free tablet apps allow me to do much more than the laptop my school issued me. Here are a few examples.

    - Educreations: Whiteboard app which lets me write on the screen, as well as record and upload screencasts (currently experimenting with a flipped classroom style of teaching).
    - Notability: PDF annotation app which lets me read, organise and write on pdfs. I use it when going through assignments in class.
    - Camera app: Who takes photos with a tablet? I do. I use it to take snapshots of my pupils' work to show on the screen (insert into the educreations app).
    - iWork's suite: Not as full-featured as Office, but a non-issue as it lets me do everything I need to do more seamlessly and intuitively. I use numbers to keep track of assignment submissions and other misc administrative tasks. Keynote for putting together quick yet impressive-looking presentations. Word when I need a word processor to type stuff.
    - Dropbox: Store documents for easy access / sharing.
    - Evernote: I am experimenting it as a task planner / reminder app of sorts, as it syncs with my Mac.
    - Wordpress: We do a fair amount of blogging in class, and this app allows me to easily create new posts and view / edit existing ones.
    - Mailbox: For checking email. The swipe-to-archive function is particularly useful. When my pupils email me their assignments, I can then categorise them by topic, for easier retrieval later and so it doesn't clog up my inbox.
    - Safari: For browsing the web, like when I want to highlight a certain article to my pupils in class.

    Of course, outside of work, my iPad also serves other functions. It's a second screen for when I work on my laptop and want another document open. It's a source of entertainment (gaming, a bit of music, tons of reading / web browsing). It leaves home fully charged and returns home at about 30-40%. That's roughly how much it gets used on a typical work day.

    To top it off, here are a few photos from last year as a guide. I don't have any photos of my current setup though (where I replace the Apple Tv with a macbook). Not the most elegant of setups, but it gets the job done. :P




    What about you? How are you using your iPads? Look forward to hearing from all of you.
    Last edited by abazigal; 11-22-2013 at 11:42 PM.
    11-22-2013 11:27 PM
  2. Just_Me_D's Avatar
    Please don't get in the habit of setting out to destroy the opinions of others simply because you disagree with them. That's displaying a lack of tolerance on your part. Those who think that the iPad is only for media or data consumption may be surrounded by people who only use it for the aforementioned purpose. Having said that, I'm in agreement with you in regard to the iPad being used in a productive manner. You see iPads used in sports, the classroom, the workplace, television, and all are using it productively in their respective fields. Personally, however, I use my iPad primarily for web browsing, forum reading, listening to music and talk radio, games --- media and data consumption...
    11-22-2013 11:41 PM
  3. abazigal's Avatar
    I respectfully disagree.

    There is a difference between opting not to use an iPad for productivity simply because it doesn't fit your use case or simply because there isn't a need for the person to, and that person believing that he cannot because he is unaware of the options and possibilities available to him.

    In that sense, this is not such much a lack of tolerance on my part, but rather, a desire to counteract this misconception and set it right. Please don't mistake me for trying to brag or deliberately trying to start a flame war. I simply feel that there is a treasure trove of information that we can learn from one another, and there is no time like the present to start sharing.

    Let me share another recent example.

    Earlier this year, I accompanied some of my students on an overseas exchange programme. As one of the teachers there, I was tasked with updating the school blog with logs of our experiences. In previous years, what the teacher did was bring the school's laptop there. He would take photos with his digital camera, then back at the hotel room, proceed to extract them and upload them to the blog. It was actually quite tedious and time-consuming, further compounded by the lack of reliable internet access in our quarters, the fact that we were all tired at the end of the day, and the slow process of transferring and compressing the images.

    What I did this year was to bring only my iPad along. I would take photos along the way and upload them using the wordpress app, right there and then. This allowed parents and colleagues to be kept abreast of what was happening in almost real-time, it involved a lot less time and effort on the blogger's part, and was so convenient that a lot of photos and reporting ended up being added compared to previous years.

    This is a very basic example of how a tablet has helped me be more productive by allowing me to perform a task way more easily than a laptop, with comparable results. Nor do I have to jump through hoops to accomplish this. All it took advantage of was the iPad's form factor, always-on wireless connectivity, integrated camera and a single app.

    I am sure there are many more you all can share here, and I eagerly await your submissions.
    11-22-2013 11:49 PM
  4. Just_Me_D's Avatar
    I respectfully disagree.
    It's all good, my friend.

    There is a difference between opting not to use an iPad for productivity simply because it doesn't fit your use case or simply because there isn't a need for the person to, and that person believing that he cannot because he is unaware of the options and possibilities available to him.
    Well stated, and I agree, however, is it possible that the person or persons you're referring to simply believe that the "primary" function of a tablet is for data consumption and not necessarily "only for" consumption?

    In that sense, this is not such much a lack of tolerance on my part, but rather, a desire to counteract this misconception and set it right.
    I understand
    Please don't mistake me for deliberately trying to start a flame war. I simply feel that there is a treasure trove of information that we can learn from one another, and there is no time like the present to start sharing.
    Oh no, please forgive me for giving that impression. There is nothing wrong with your initial post or your reply........and I didn't and don't think you're trying to start a flame war. I was focusing on the part about you setting out to kill....
    11-23-2013 12:03 AM
  5. dkhmwilliams's Avatar
    I haven't had a laptop in years. And it has been even longer since I have had a desktop computer. I use my iPad Air for just about everything. I really enjoy the experience a lot better. Using the various apps is easier than the software programs you get on a laptop computer. I have a Zagg backlit bluetooth keyboard case and that was all I need to be highly productive. And I will end with this, it's just a lot more fun to use my iPad Air than a laptop or desktop computer.


    Sent from my iPad Air using Tapatalk
    02-27-2014 02:51 AM
  6. Tpence2177's Avatar
    What is this right here my wife has a similar setup in her classroom but is unable to use it because the tech guy won't let her connect it to the wifi. I set our own router in there last year but he found it during the summer and took it down. Hoping this is something that will help me connect her iPad to the Apple TV




    Sent from my iPhone 5s using Tapatalk
    02-27-2014 07:45 AM
  7. ipaddist's Avatar

    - Educreations: Whiteboard app which lets me write on the screen, as well as record and upload screencasts (currently experimenting with a flipped classroom style of teaching).
    - Notability: PDF annotation app which lets me read, organise and write on pdfs. I use it when going through assignments in class.
    If you're looking for an app that combines these two above apps, I recommend VoxyPAD. It has a whiteboard that you and your students can collaborate in real time on. They call it a Notepad, in which you have a web browser and access to files right in your Dropbox. So if you want to teach online, you dont have to send files to him and tell him what page to open, just start right from inside the app. Very convenient.
    This screenshot on the app store gives you an idea of how it looks.
    [Discussion] Productivity on iPads?-dropbox.jpg
    05-19-2014 03:14 AM

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